Redmond’s softballers are going to stay in the game no matter what the scoreboard says.
From her spot on the pitcher’s mound, at the plate and on the basepaths, Grace Haegele sees stellar things happen.
On Tuesday, Central had the upper hand with a 10-6 victory at the Junior Softball World Series, but Redmond plugged away with five runs late in the game to keep things close at Everest Park in Kirkland. The locals will take on the Southeast at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow in their final pool game. Single-elimination championship play begins on Thursday.
“I think for us, it’s all about the trust that we have in each other and keeping that positive attitude out on the field and in the dugout,” said Haegele. “Not getting down on ourselves, not getting down on each other, and no matter whether the score is 9-1 or 10-6 like we finished, I think that’s probably the biggest deal for us.”
Central led 7-0 in the top of the fourth inning and Haegele knocked an RBI single in the bottom of the inning. Down 9-1, the locals loaded the bases and tallied four runs in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Karli Kostoff, an RBI walk from Sundis Cole and a two-RBI double from Ella Claus. Annika Dayberry added an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh.
Overall, Claus had three hits, and Kostoff, Haegele and Natalia Farago had two hits each.
Haegele praised her team’s defensive play, which included Farago diving to snag a grounder at third and throwing the runner out, and Kostoff inhaling with her glove just about everything that came her way at shortstop.
“It pumps me up, I just smile and I just watch it happen — it’s like I’m watching an ESPN top-10 reel, just going all over and over,” Haegele said. “I’m just like, ‘Holy mackerel, I get to play on a team with girls who can make extremely amazing plays,’ and that just makes me super happy out there.”